Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
  1. Amazon Home Upgrades
    08:06 Deals

    5 home upgrades under $25 that Amazon shoppers are totally obsessed with

  2. Best Electric Lawn Mower 2021
    12:58 Deals

    The best Greenworks electric lawn mower is down to an all-time low price at Amazon

  3. Best Windows 10 Laptop Deals
    10:32 Deals

    Amazon’s best Windows 10 laptop deals in August start at just $199

  4. Wireless CarPlay Adapter
    08:41 Deals

    Finally! CarlinKit 2.0 on Amazon converts your car’s regular CarPlay to wireless Car…

  5. Instant Pot Pro Price
    11:44 Deals

    Instant Pot Pro in the sleek black color just got a huge discount at Amazon




The Mars Ingenuity helicopter refused to take its fourth flight

April 30th, 2021 at 5:19 PM
mars helicopter glitch

NASA’s Mars Ingenuity helicopter already completed the milestones that its team set forth for it. The three goals were fairly straightforward. First, it had to fly in a Mars simulation chamber on Earth. Check. Then, it had to fly on the real Mars. Check. Lastly, it had to travel horizontally on Mars and return for a safe landing. Check! By the helicopter’s third flight, all of these challenges had already been met, and with its fourth flight, Ingenuity was going to “push the envelope,” according to NASA, and fly for much longer and farther than it ever had before.

Apparently, Ingenuity wasn’t on board with that plan. NASA sent the commands to the small aircraft on Thursday and, as the team usually does as it waits for the long communications delay to catch up to the helicopter, it waited for confirmation that the helicopter had launched, flown, and landed as asked. Unfortunately, the team received a message it wasn’t expecting. The helicopter hadn’t done much of anything and was sitting right where it had been all day. Uh oh.

Today's Top Deal Unreal deal gets you Amazon’s hottest smart home gadget for $23 – plus a $40 credit! List Price:$29.98 Price:$21.00 You Save:$8.98 (30%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission Available from Amazon BGR may receive a commission

According to NASA, the data that Ingenuity sent back revealed that it “did not execute its planned fourth flight as scheduled.” But why? NASA has a pretty good idea. If you go back to the helicopter’s first flight attempt you’ll remember that the aircraft failed to transition into flight mode from its pre-flight setting. This resulted in the helicopter just sitting there, and that appears to be what happened during the planned fourth flight as well.

NASA says that data was received from the helicopter that shows that it failed to transition to flight mode and, because of that, the chopper couldn’t take off. The good news here is that, at least as far as NASA is concerned, this odd glitch doesn’t change anything about the plans to continue sending Ingenuity on new and more daring flights.

Via NASA:

An issue identified earlier this month showed a 15% chance for each time the helicopter attempts to fly that it would encounter a watchdog timer expiration and not transition to flight mode.  Today’s delay is in line with that expectation and does not prevent future flights.

NASA will be holding a briefing to “discuss next steps for the helicopter” on Friday, but plans to launch its fourth flight before then. Hopefully the chopper can bypass the glitch and take to the skies. If it does, it will complete a lengthy back-and-forth journey while also snapping photos along its path as a test of its ability to create a high-resolution “map” of sorts. The helicopter will snap images every four feet and, knowing how much NASA likes to stitch images together, we’ll probably see it all at once in the near future.

Today's Top Deal Unreal deal gets you Amazon’s hottest smart home gadget for $23 – plus a $40 credit! List Price:$29.98 Price:$21.00 You Save:$8.98 (30%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission Available from Amazon BGR may receive a commission

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.




Popular News